(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "[untitled] The American Historical Review, (1899-12-01), pages 339-342"

STOP 



Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World 

This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in 
the world by JSTOR. 

Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other 
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the 
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. 

We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this 
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial 
purposes. 

Read more about Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate-jstor/individuals/early- 
journal-content . 



JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people 
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching 
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit 
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please 
contact support@jstor.org. 



Waddington : La Guerre de Sept Ans 339 

La Guerre de Sept Ans : Histoire Diplomatique et Militaire. Par 

Richard Waddington. Tome I. Les Debuts. (Paris : Fir- 

min-Didot et Cie. 1899. Pp. iii, 755.) 

Two years ago the author of this work described in his Louis XV. et 
le Renversement des Alliances the diplomatic struggle which preluded the 
Seven Years' War. He now begins the narrative of the war itself with 
an account of the conflicts in the cabinet and on the field from August 26, 
1756, when Frederick set his troops in motion toward the Saxon frontier, 
until the disastrous defeat of Leuthen in December of the next year had 
ruined the Austrian army. This period he rightly regards as highly inter- 
esting, because of the skill with which the game of war and of diplomacy 
was sometimes played, and, even when there was bungling, because of 
the tremendous stakes that were ventured. His excuse for again going 
over ground so often traversed is that it has not been examined with such 
detail by any French historian, and that he has found much unutilized 
material, particularly in the Newcastle Papers in the British Museum, 
which until recently were not accessible, and in the correspondence of 
Kaunitz and Stahremberg. With the aid of this material he has been 
able to make much plainer the course of the negotiations which ended in 
the secret treaty of Versailles, May 1, 1757, the scheme for the neutral- 
ization of Hanover, and the Convention of Closter Seven. His descrip- 
tions of the principal battles of the two campaigns are sufficiently clear 
and full, but they are of secondary interest in a work like this. 

M. Waddington could have given greater compactness and unity to 
his treatment of the subject had he occasionally summed up or sketched 
despatches of diplomats or soldiers which he quotes at length. He has 
by this method of extended quotation forced upon the reader work of 
analysis and characterization which it was his own business to accom- 
plish. And yet such a method is not without advantages. The reader 
is brought so close to the sources of information that he is in a measure 
able to control the author's judgments. 

M. Waddington regards Frederick's refusal to compromise with the 
Elector of Saxony at the outset as a serious blunder, because the Saxon 
army, though badly provisioned, was formidable enough to delay him 
until the season was so advanced that a campaign in Bohemia was out of 
the question. It would have been fortunate for him had the Elector, 
who was also King of Poland, retired into Bohemia, according to his- 
first plan. Frederick's oppressions in Saxony made a bad impression in 
Paris and galvanized into a semblance of life the already dying enthusi- 
asm for the Austrian alliance. 

In some respects the best-worked-out story of diplomatic success is 
the account of Stahremberg' s efforts to embody in the secret treaty of 
Versailles a programme which pledged France to a leading part in the 
purely Austrian attempt to ruin Frederick. As M. Waddington sums it 
up, Stahremberg had procured heavy subsidies for the whole period of the 
war, while all notion of reimbursement was abandoned ; and he had made 
the cessions of territory in the Low Countries contingent "non au re- 



34-0 Reviews of Books 

couvrement de Silesia et du comte de Glatz, comme l'avait accepts en 
dernier lieu l'lmperatrice, mais bien a 1' entree en jouissance de toutes les 
conquetes que revendiquait l'Autriche." And all this had been gained 
in spite of the demands which the struggle in India and America already 
made upon the French resources and in spite of the French desire to ope- 
rate mainly on the lower Rhine or against Hanover. 

Another incident which M. Waddington has set in a clearer light 
than previous discussions, particularly those of the English historians, 
have given it, is the Convention of Closter Seven. For this purpose he 
has made a large use of the Newcastle Papers. The Convention was 
signed September 8, 1757, by Cumberland, the commander of the 
Hanoverian army, as the only means of saving his troops from capture by 
the Due de Richelieu. Although its terms were humiliating to Hanover, 
to George II. , the King-Elector, and to England — how humiliating may 
be guessed from Horace Walpole's exclamation, "Believe me, it is 
comfortable to have an island to hide one's head in " — M. Waddington 
declares that Cumberland simply carried out his father's explicit direc- 
tions. This conception of the affair is not a new one, for contemporary 
observers suspected the same thing ; and yet it is possible to see from 
the documents and correspondence which the author quotes so extensively 
that the case against the old King is not quite so strong, and that Pitt 
touched the very sources of the blundering when the enraged George 
denied that he had given orders for such a treaty, and Pitt deprecatingly 
replied, "But full powers, sir ; very full powers." 

To prove his thesis M. Waddington carefully describes the directions 
George sent August 1 1 to Cumberland under the impression of the defeat 
of Hastenbeck and the rapid retreat of the army upon Stade. It is clear 
that Cumberland had full powers, and that George bound himself 
' ' tenir ferme et stable, .... executer ponctuellement tout ce que le 
dit notre tres cher fils aura stipule, promis et signe en vertu du present 
pouvoir," etc., etc. But would not the King's surprise at the extra- 
ordinary use Cumberland made of these powers have been natural in a 
person less shifty even than this old monarch ? For, what in his mind 
was the controlling purpose of the whole negotiation ? In the first sup- 
plementary note he says that he is sure Cumberland " ne fera de cette 
autorisation que tel usage qui aboutisse au salut de mes etats et de mon 
armee," and in the third he repeats that he has taken such action " afin 
que tous ces pays [Hanover and its West-German allies] soient soulagees 
et les troupes conservees." He had a just reason to be angry then 
when he found that Cumberland had signed an agreement which did not 
accomplish half of the object of the negotiation. Nothing was said in 
the Convention about the treatment Hanover was to receive and M. 
Waddington himself describes fully the manner in which it was " bled 
pale." The Due de Richelieu was so anxious to enrich himself that he 
winked at pillage by subordinates and the soldiers, who gaily called him 
" le Pere Maraude," and the mansion he built in Paris with a portion of 
the spoil was fittingly nicknamed " Pavilion du Hanovre." 



Waddington : La Guerre de Sept Ans 341 

But this was not the King's only excuse. His instructions reveal 
irresolution aggravated by panic. He wants from his son further light 
on the situation, and asks that no agreement be signed until full powers 
to sign have reached Richelieu from France. On the sixteenth he also 
said that the negotiation should not be terminated until word had been 
received from Vienna in regard to his overtures for a separate peace. 
Here was evidently a desire to enjoy some of the benefits of an armistice, 
and at the same time to avoid paying the bitter price if some victory of 
Frederick's should turn the luck, or overtures from Vienna should change 
the face of affairs. Cumberland, feeling the burden of a desperate sit- 
uation, could not penetrate his father's mood and failed to realize his 
father's hopes. M. Waddington is not quite fair in so unqualifiedly 
charging the King with duplicity because he denied ordering such a Con- 
vention as that of Closter Seven. 

In his first account of the affair M. Waddington leaves the im- 
pression that it was the untrustworthiness of British promises which ren- 
dered the agreement worthless from the beginning. But it is evident 
that if the King and his advisers only waited for an opportunity to extri- 
cate themselves from their embarrassment by taking advantage of the 
strange omission of a time-limit in the terms of the Convention, the 
French court sought to accomplish the same result by interpreting the 
articles. The author relates that Richelieu told General Donop that the 
Hessians should lay down their arms as soon as they should arrive in their 
own country. This bit of information brought the Hessian contingent 
to a sudden halt. Furthermore, the reservations with which Bernis con- 
sented to the Convention were largely responsible, as M. Waddington 
later remarks in his judgment upon Richelieu, for the rupture. 

M. Waddington gives one chapter to the war between the French 
and English in America, but he says nothing of the struggle in India, 
which he will doubtless describe in connection with its later and more 
decisive phases. In his list of books on this campaign he mentions none 
of the recent works except Kingsford's History of Canada and Parkman's 
Montcalm and Wolfe. His own account is, on the whole, satisfactory, 
although in certain matters of detail he does scant justice to the English 
side. For example, he speaks of Bradstreet's fight with M. de Villiers 
as a "combat indecis." A note explains that both French and English 
claimed the victory, and adds, to throw discredit on the English claim, 
that their losses were the heavier. But the English were fired upon from 
an ambuscade while in their boats proceeding unsuspectingly up the river 
a few miles from Oswego. When they succeeded in reaching their ene- 
mies the fortunes of the fight seemed never to have left their side, and 
the French were decisively repulsed. 

Again in the attack on Oswego he regards the abandonment of Fort 
Ontario as premature because the French had not yet armed their bat- 
teries. But the fort was constructed of stakes or beams driven into the 
ground, a good defence against small arms and swivel guns, but worse 
than useless against cannon. And Colonel Mercer feared that if he 



342 Reviews of Books 

waited until the French heavy guns opened, the walls would be knocked 
to splinters, and he would lose both fort and garrison. 

In his account of the unsuccessful defence of Fort William Henry, 
M. Waddington fails to do full justice to the gallant efforts of the defend- 
ers. He gives the impression that the display of the white flag was sudden 
and without sufficient reason. His eyes are too closely fixed upon Mont- 
calm's skilful approaches to note the struggles and sufferings of the garri- 
son. In describing the massacre which followed he minimizes the loss of 
life, even seriously quoting the ridiculous estimate of Vaudreuil of five 
or six as a possibility, though lending more weight to the opinions of 
Levis and Pere Koubaud, who were agreed that fifty were killed. Per- 
haps this is not too much partiality to expect of even so scholarly a 
French writer. The spirit of the narrative is studiously fair throughout. 

It is unfortunate that a book so rich in material is not provided with 
a detailed table of contents, to say nothing of an index. The table of 
contents occupies half a page. 

Henry E. Bourne. 

Mhnoires du Comte de More (1758— 1837). Publies pour la Societe 
d'Histoire Contemporaine par M. Geoffroy de Grandmaison et 
le Comte de Pontgibaud. (Paris : Alphonse Picard et Fils. 
1898. Pp.343-) 

Charles-Albert de More de Pontgibaud, afterwards the Comte 
de Mor6, was born April 21, 1758. He was the second son of the 
Comte de Pontgibaud, whose estates were in Auvergne. In 1773 he 
went to live in Paris, where he at once gave himself up to such a life of 
dissipation that his family became alarmed lest they should be scandal- 
ized. Accordingly they decided to have him imprisoned and procured 
a lettre de cachet for the purpose, ordering him to be confined in the 
castle or donjon of Pierre-en-Cize. This was in 1775. In the autumn 
of 1777 he dug his way through the ten-foot wall of his cell and made 
his escape. Through a neighbor he announced this to his father. Hav- 
ing learned that Lafayette and other Frenchmen had gone to help the 
Americans against the British, he proposed to his father through the 
same messenger to try the fortunes of war in America. His father con- 
sented and granted him a pension, and ere long the young man was cross- 
ing the Atlantic. 

His vessel was wrecked in Chesapeake Bay and plundered by pirates- 
and he himself left destitute. He made his way to Williamsburg, and' 
saw Governor Jefferson, who gave him a passport, with which he set out 
to find the army. He presented himself to Lafayette, who made him an 
aide-de-camp. He seems to have been constantly with Lafayette from 
that time forth. 

His first battle was the battle of Monmouth. Of Lee's retreat he 
says : "I was present at that affair, when M. de Lafayette was under 
the orders of Lee. We were beaten completely ; our soldiers fled in the